Thursday, 16 July 2015

Many Meds

I've only seen a couple of Med Gulls so far this summer, despite excellent numbers of Black-headed Gulls about. So I was pleased to seen ten on Black Hole Marsh this morning; five juvs, single first and second-summers and three adults...

Two adults flanked by two juveniles
Adult
Colour-ringed first-summer
A gorgeous juvenile
Same juvenile back on, they are subtly beautiful

And now for a quiz pic. How many Meds? And what ages are they...



I know many don't find gulls interesting or attractive, but I don't think there's many birds smarter than an adult summer Med Gull.

Also on Black Hole today was my first Shoveler of the 'autumn', three Teal and waders included 12 Blackwits, 9 Common Sands, 6 Dunlin (my first juv) and a Green Sand.

Yesterday I had a rather nice and spectacular surprise during a mist netting session. Although I've been a C ringer for four years, this was the first time one of these have flown into my nets (and stayed there until extracted, big birds often 'bounce' straight out of mist nets)...

Sparrowhawk

What fierce eyes! They really have nailed the 'death stare' to perfection.  This bird was a '5 male', which means it's a male that was born in the previous calender year (2014).  It showed a remarkable moult with a seemingly random mix of first-year (brown) and adult (blue-grey) feathers...

The fact the adult feathers are blueish say its a male, as did its small wing size

I say the moult looked random, but clearly it isn't and this is obviously how Sparrowhawks do it so that they remain in good enough condition to continue to hunt.  It still looked very 'juvenile' on its front...

So glad James M was with me at this time, enabling me to get these photos.

Also of note was this juvenile Whitethroat, notable because they don't breed on site so it has clearly travelled some distance - although probably not that far...

Whitethroat age code 3

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